New York (CNN) — Protesters gathered in lower Manhattan mid-day Sunday to demonstrate against plans to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Protest organizer Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger, and her group, "Stop the Islamicization of America," planned the event because, according to the group's website, "Building the Ground Zero mosque is not an issue of religious freedom, but of resisting an effort to insult the victims of 9/11 and to establish a beachhead for political Islam and Islamic supremacism in New York… Ground Zero is a war memorial, a burial ground. Respect it."

The project calls for a 13-story community center including a mosque, performing art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces. It is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative. "The Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming, similar to the 92nd Street Y," its website says, referring to the cultural institution on the upper East side of Manhattan. The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.

Daisy Khan of the American Society for Muslim Advancement told CNN it was a "community center with a prayer space inside." She said the project was an opportunity for American Muslims living in New York to "give back" to the community.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/06/new.york.ground.zero.mosque/index.html?iref=allsearch


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